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Alistair Darling: I threatened to quit if PM demoted me

Alistair Darling admitted he threatened to walk out of the Government last year when Gordon Brown was thinking of demoting him.

In an interview for GQ magazine with talk show host Piers Morgan, the Chancellor insisted there had been “no ill feeling” but acknowledged that he refused to be moved.

His frankness throws new light on his relationship with the Prime Minister, who has confirmed that he will keep Mr Darling on as Chancellor after the general election if Labour wins.

In the reshuffle last summer, however, Mr Darling looked likely to be replaced at the Treasury by Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary.

It followed briefing against him and his response to the economic crisis, which he recently described as “the forces of hell” being unleashed against him by Mr Brown's aides.

Mr Darling ultimately held on to his job — a development credited largely to the premier's weakened position after the resignations of a series of other ministers.

Asked if he had told the Prime Minister “I either stay as Chancellor, or I'm off”, Mr Darling said: “Yes. But there was no ill feeling about it.”

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